Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Wednesday's Featured Teacher and Freebie... Meet Rick Whitehead

Meet Rick Whitehead over at 
Rick's Resources

What do you teach? And where? 
I taught 4th grade this year and 3-5th grades over the last 28 years in Layton, Utah, USA.  I have just retired.  :)

What is one of your favorite memories in the classroom?
One of my favorite memories is a recent one.  There was a child within the school that had a poor reputation.  He was talked about negatively in the faculty room.  He was the kid that teachers dreaded getting in their classrooms.  I had my own reputation of taking the hard and "damaged" kids and trying to provide something positive in their lives.

I met with the principal and requested to have this troubled kid put into my class the next school year.  This boy certainly did have some emotional and behavioral issues, but from the first day he walked into my classroom, I welcomed him and told him that I was glad he was in my class.  I meant it, and he knew it. 

What was your hardest experience while teaching? How did you overcome it.
The hardest experience was exactly the same as my most rewarding.  I guess that makes sense because something that requires the most work and sacrifice will result in the greatest reward when it results in success.  Working with a difficult child with extreme emotional and behavioral issues within a regular education setting was extremely difficult.   This was a child who was difficult to like and to work with.  It required immense effort to find the positive and focus on it.  I spent evenings and nights thinking, worrying, and planning interventions and accommodations.  I wrote lengthy communications to home and met with the parents often for strategy sessions.  It was very time consuming and difficult; yet, it was the most rewarding situation I ever encountered as a teacher.

What advice would you give a new teacher or someone switching grade levels?
Stay positive in the face of difficulty.  If you're new to the profession or in a different position it's possible you might have unrealistic expectations and when those expectations are not met, discouragement can set in.  Sometimes things are not as rosy as you thought they would be.  Take things one step at a time and try not to be a perfectionist with everything.  Often it takes months or years to accomplish goals.  Focus on one or two objectives at a time so you don't get overwhelmed.

Rick would like to offer all followers a 

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